Democratic Presidential Rivals Present a United Front on MLK Day in South Carolina

The Democratic candidates gathered in South Carolina to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday

The leading Democratic candidates gathered in South Carolina on Monday to link arms and show a united front in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as they gear up for the Democratic primaries.

Striking photographs from the march show several Democratic candidates — including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — walking together to South Carolina’s state capital in Columbia.

Notably, Warren and Sanders had their arms linked together as they marched side-by-side, giving some Democratic voters an image of hope as the 2020 election gets closer.

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren
Meg Kinnard/AP/Shutterstock
Vice President Joe Biden, left, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Democratic presidential candidates (left to right) Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders march together for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Columbia, South Carolina on Monday. Sean Rayford/Getty

Warren and Sanders both sparred last week over a CNN report that Sanders had allegedly told Warren back in late 2018 that a woman couldn’t win the 2020 election. Sanders vehemently denied the report, while Warren confirmed it.

After the two senators were questioned about it at this month’s Democratic debate — and gave conflicting accounts of their 2018 conversation — they shared a tense moment together on stage, where Warren seemingly pulled away from Sanders’ handshake while they had a quick discussion.

Audio of the conversation released by CNN showed that Warren said to Sanders, “I think you called me a liar on national TV,” before Sanders replied shortly after, “You called me a liar.”

The incident came days after a Politico report about Sanders’ campaign instructing volunteers to tell voters Warren supporters are are “highly educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what” and that “she’s bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party.”

Warren said that she was “disappointed” Sanders’ campaign would instruct volunteers to “trash” her, while Politico reported the Sanders campaign didn’t “challenge the authenticity” of the script.

Monday’s image reassured some voters that the longtime friends are still in fact that, despite their recent arguments and controversy.

“Great show of unity by the Democrats!” one Twitter user wrote, while others joked that “mom and dad made up.”

The recent contention between the Democratic candidates has worried some party voters that the division will negatively impact the Democrats’ chance at unseating Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.

“Too much is at stake right now for mutual destruction,” Rebecca Katz, a liberal strategist, recently told The Washington Post. “Our eyes need to be on the prize.”

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